Calibration technicians work across most manufacturing industries. They are responsible for the routine inspection, testing, maintenance and repair of instruments and manufacturing equipment. The purpose of the calibration technician role is to ensure the accuracy of the measurements taken using this equipment.
What is Calibration?
Within a manufacturing environment, equipment is used to complete tasks such as measuring, analysis and recording of data. Calibration is the process by which instrumentation and equipment are monitored and maintained to ensure they continue to give accurate and reliable results.
A calibration technician is the person responsible for this routine monitoring and maintenance.
They can be required to work on a range of equipment including manufacturing instruments, devices and gauges. In manufacturing environments this equipment will be used to monitor things such as temperature, humidity, pressure, light intensity, voltage, mass etc. The specific equipment to be maintained will vary between roles, depending on the specific place of work and what is being manufactured.
The work of a calibration technician is extremely important to successful manufacturing. Without precise calibration the accuracy of readings, actions and output of equipment cannot be assured.
In highly regulated industries such as pharmaceutical or medical device manufacturing it is essential. There are strict protocols to be followed and precise documentation to be completed to prove that calibration activities are carried out correctly.
As more and more manufacturing processes are carried out by machines, the role of the calibration technician is becoming increasingly important.
Calibration technicians are routinely required throughout the manufacturing cycle and, as a result, shift work is generally required.
What Does a Calibration Technician do?
A calibration technician will routinely test equipment and instruments to check that their readings and output meet expected results. If a deviation is found, that piece of equipment will be further analysed, adjusted or repaired as necessary.
The specific tasks carried out will vary depending on the specific role but, activities can include:
- Installation of new or repaired equipment or parts
- Routine testing, calibration and monitoring of equipment
- Analysis and interpretation of testing result data
- Troubleshooting when results fall out-with the expected ranges
- Repair of equipment as necessary
- Ordering of parts
- Compilation of reports for facility management
Becoming a Calibration Technician
Typically a high school level education is required as a minimum qualification. Some experience of a manufacturing environment is typically preferred. Companies will often provide in-house training on the specific equipment used.
The skills required to be a successful calibration technician include:
- Communication – both written and verbal communication skills are necessary. May be required to report outcomes of tests to engineering department staff, routinely liaise with colleagues to schedule testing and repair, compile reports for management and deal directly with suppliers for replacement equipment or parts
- Attention to detail – precision is essential in this role, the smallest details have to be noted and acted upon when necessary. Must also follow the SOPs for testing and calibration of equipment in an extremely strict manner
- Coordination – will be working with a range of manufacturing equipment, conducting tests in strict adherence to SOPs and protocols
- Analytical skills – must be able to take raw test data and analyse it accurately, reaching sound conclusions. Must also be able to critically analyse problems and come up with innovative solutions when required
- Team working – must work closely with colleagues to define testing routines, protocols and schedules
- IT skills – data entry and database use is an important part of the job and must be done in accordance with any internal SOPs and external regulatory protocols
What is the Salary of a Calibration Technician?
For information on typical salaries for this role, check out our Salaries Page.
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